Articles Tagged with oil and gas


Business diagram shows change of the prices for oil

Were you a client of Creative Planning and TD Ameritrade? Did you have unauthorized trades placed in your account in oil and gas related echange traded notes or funds?  If so the FINRA arbitration claims process can be used to recover those losses.  Please contact our law firm in Chicago for a no cost review by an attorney as to how Creative Planning and TD Ameritrade can be sued in the FIRNA arbitration forum.

Forest-Oil-Uses-Spotfire-to-Drill-Down-to-Real-Results-300x174Were you recommended oil and gas investments by Stifel Nicolaus financial advisor Andrew Elsoffer (30100 Chagrin, Suite 101, Pepper Pike, OH, 44124)?  If so, those losses are potentially recoverable in the FINRA arbitration forum.  Brokers are obligated to make investment recommendations that are suitable and consistent with their clients objectives, net worth, age and other holdings.  Recommendations in Lynn Energy and other oil and gas concentrated investments may have been unsuitable and therefore entitle the investor to damages.   If you were recommended oil and gas related investments by Andrew Elsoffer, please contact our law firm for a free review by a lawyer.

AdobeStock_762441-1-300x225Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) records indicate that Clayton, Missouri-based Arete Wealth Management broker Alvery Bartlett has been involved in pending or resolved customer disputes. Mr. Bartlett allegedly misrepresented and recommended unsuitable investments between 2012 and 2014. He also allegedly misrepresented and recommended unsuitable investments in oil and gas securities and tenant-in-common (TIC) interests. These are not suitable for all investors because they can be highly risky and illiquid investments. A broker must take into account a customer’s age, net worth, investment objectives and investment risk tolerance before recommending or selling an investment. If he does not, his brokerage firm may be liable for losses on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum. The firm has a duty to reasonably supervise its brokers while they are registered there.
Alvery Bartlett was previously registered with Clayton Brokerage Co. of St. Louis, Alvery Bartlett Brokerage, Derand/Pennington/Bass, Mark Twain Brokerage Services, The Bartlett Fund Management Co. and Berthel, Fisher & Company. He is currently registered with Arete Wealth Management in Clayton, Missouri, and has been since August 2016. He has two customer disputes against him, one of which is currently pending. This is all according to his online, public BrokerCheck report with FINRA.

AdobeStock_66548440-1-300x169The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil action charging Matthew Griffin and William Griffin with fraudulently offering two Texas oil and gas partnerships, Payson Petroleum 3 Well 2014. Allegedly, between November 2013 and July 2014, the Griffins conducted a fraudulent offering of interests raising $23 million from 150 investors. This was allegedly for the purpose of developing three oil and gas wells. According to the SEC, the Griffins misled investors about Payson’s participation in the program, as well as other aspects of its compensation. Their offering materials also contained numerous misrepresentations and omissions. These included the fact that Payson would contribute an up-front 20% of the offering amount in the amount of $5.4 million and that it would cover 20% of the cost of the wells, and that Payson would cover any cost overages beyond the estimated $24 million. The SEC found these representations to be false, because Payson paid nothing toward the cost of the wells. The company also lacked the financial means to do so. Payson has raised tens of millions of dollars through the following private placements:

Payson Petroleum, Inc.;

Payson Petroleum Jenny #1, LP;

AdobeStock_66548440-1-300x169This week, a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel comprised of three arbitrators, ordered RBC Capital Markets, and its broker, Bruce Cameron, to pay a former client $723,000 for losses sustained. The client was an elderly woman, and her portfolio suffered losses because of an overconcentration of oil and gas master limited partnerships (MLP) which included:

Breitburn Energy Partners

Enable Mistream Partners

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged former Lynnwood, Washington-based Mutual of Omaha broker Ronald Fossum, with fraud. In December 2017, the SEC alleged that Mr. Fossum participated in a scheme to defraud “three pooled investment funds, as well as investors in those funds.” Allegedly, from March 2011 until June 2016, he raised more than $20 million from more than 1,000 investors in three pooled funds: Smart Money Secured Income Fund, Turnkey Investment Fund, and Accelerated Asset Group, all managed by Fossum himself. Smart Money’s holdings were mostly in real estate, websites, oil and gas and other securities, Turnkey’s were mostly in oil and gas ventures, and Accelerated’s were mostly in distressed consumer debt.

While raising money for and managing these funds, Mr. Fossum allegedly misappropriated funds for his personal use, commingled fund assets, transferred monies between the funds in an indiscriminate manner and hid one of the fund’s “inability to redeem investments,” which its offering documents promised. He also allegedly offered and sold interests in Turnkey Fund and Smart Money without a registration statement or exemption from registration, and he allegedly acted as an unregistered broker when he executed transactions in Turnkey Fund. He also took compensation for those transactions. The funds filed for bankruptcy in June 2016 because of Mr. Fossum’s violations, mismanagement and fraud.

Ronald Fossum was previously registered with Mutual of Omaha Investor Services in Lynnwood, Washington from July 2000 until August 2008. He has one civil claim pending against him. He is not currently registered as a broker, according to his online, public record with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). You may be able to recover your investment losses with Ronald Fossum by bringing a claim against Mutual of Omaha in the FINRA arbitration forum on a contingency fee basis. The firm had a duty to reasonably supervise Mr. Fossum while he was registered there.

According to records with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Jeffrey Wilson, a broker with Wells Fargo in Las Cruces, New Mexico, has been accused of making unsuitable investment advice concerning various investment products including energy stocks that likely include master limited partnerships (MLPs). In or around August 2014, according to BrokerCheck records with FINRA, Mr. Wilson recommended the purchase of unsuitable energy securities, and, in May 2016, allegedly made unsuitable investments in oil and energy investments. Oil, gas and energy investments are not suitable for every investor. Since the price of oil has dropped over the past few years, investors have lost money in these investments, which tend to be risky ones in general. Wells Fargo has a responsibility to reasonably supervise its brokers to make sure that they do not violate securities laws. If the bank fails to do so, it may be liable for losses on a contingency fee basis in the FINRA arbitration forum.

Jeffrey Randolph Wilson was previously registered with New York Life Securities Corp from October 1983 until August 1985, Merrill Lynch in Las Cruces, New Mexico from September 1985 until October 2007, Morgan Stanley in Las Cruces from October 2007 until June 2009 and Morgan Stanley in Las Cruces from June 2009 until June 2014. He is currently registered with Wells Fargo in Las Cruces, and has been since May 2014. He has four customer disputes against him, alleging excessive trading, unsuitable investments, unsuitable investments in oil and gas securities, and excessive risk, among other things. One of the customer disputes is currently pending. This is according to his online, public BrokerCheck report.

AdobeStock_17723177-1-300x175George C. Merhoff, a Cetera Advisors broker in Klamath Falls, Oregon, allegedly recommended numerous oil and gas and energy investments which were high-risk and illiquid. These included Linn Energy, Pengrowth Energy, and Amerigas Partners. Merhoff also allegedly recommended illiquid alternative investments including Cypress Income Funds and ICON 12, when he was registered with Pacific West Securities. Merhoff also allegedly made a number of unsuitable investment recommendations to a client, and he and Cetera had previously been the subject of of a regulatory action by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, which alleged that Merhoff inappropriately concentrated his clients’ investments in oil and energy stocks. Oil and gas and energy investments tend to be risky and illiquid ones, that are not suitable for all investors, since the price of oil and significantly declined. A broker must take into account a customer’s age, net worth, investment objectives and risk, as well as sophistication. If he does not, his brokerage firm may be responsible for losses on a contingency fee basis.
According to public record, Merhoff was registered with AAG Securities in Cincinnati, Ohio from September 1997 until March 1998, and Pacific West Securities in Klamath Falls, Oregon from June 1998 until February 2012. He is currently registered with Cetera Advisors in Klamath Falls and Monroe, Oregon, and has been since February 2012. He has two criminal final dispositions against him and has 14 customer disputes against him, 10 of which are currently pending. Please call our Chicago and Barrington, Illinois-based securities law firm at 312-332-4200 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. We take cases on a contingency fee basis only.

AdobeStock_90383187-1-300x194Did you lose money with Noble Royalty Access Fund VI LP? If so, the attorneys at Stoltmann Law Offices may be able to help you recover those losses. Noble Royalty specializes in acquiring and managing oil, gas and coal royalty properties with production histories. This is an oil and gas investment and many of these are highly illiquid and risky investments that are not suitable for all investors. A broker must take into account a client’s age, net worth and investment objectives, among other thing. If he does not, his brokerage firm may be responsible for losses. We are based in Chicago, Illinois and take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only make money if you recover yours.

Stoltmann Law Offices is interested in speaking to those investors who have invested in oil and gas and commodities related investments. Investors may be able to recover their losses by suing the brokerage firm of the broker who recommended these. Our law offices have been tracking a number of Master Limited Partnership (MLP) closed-end funds that have suffered significant losses. Among them is Kayne Anderson MLP (NYSE: KYN) which has $4.1 billion in assets. Over the past year, this fund has suffered a 57% loss.

Around 86% of the total MLP securities market can be attributed to energy and natural resource companies. Investors have lost over $20 billion in publicly traded oil funds in MLPs. Banks such as Citigroup, Barclays and Wells Fargo made an estimated $1.1 billion in fees for selling these products to investors. Many brokers have been hyping these MLP investments because of the commissions they provide for the brokers themselves, but the recommendation and the sale must be suitable for the investor for it to be considered legitimate. Please call us if you have questions about bringing a claim against your brokerage firm for the sale of MLPs. We may be able to help you recover your money on a contingency fee basis.

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